Journal of the History of Ideas: “Montesquieu’s Considerations on the State of Europe”
By Nathaniel Gilmore
“‘In 1748 Montesquieu simultaneously published his immense Spirit of the Laws and republished his brief Considerations on the Causes of the Greatness of the Romans and their Decline. Both the date of publication and the evidence of the texts themselves correct contemporary scholars’ tendency to discount the status of the Considerations as the unique partner of the Laws. Reading the two works together illuminates Montesquieu’s account of the state, his assessment of historical progress, and his predictions for the future of Europe.”
Nathaniel Gilmore is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He studies extremism and moderation in republican politics, with a particular focus on the political thought of jurists and historians. In his book project, Montesquieu and the Spirit of Rome, he studies how Montesquieu addressed the challenges and temptations Rome presents for the modern world. In particular, Professor Gilmore explores how the sources of extremism that Montesquieu found in Rome remain with us today. His work has appeared in the American Political Science Review and in Companion to the Political Culture of the Roman Republic.
Professor Gilmore is a JMC fellow.
Want to help the Jack Miller Center transform higher education? Donate today.